Beauty Best Books of the Year So Far STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Shop Popular Services TheTick TheTick TheTick  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, starting at $129.99 Kindle Oasis GNO Water Sports STEMClubToys17_gno



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 75 reviews
Kathleen Parker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist, and frequent guest on cable and network news shows. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 215-page hardcover edition.]

She wrote in the Prologue of this 2008 book, “For the past thirty years or so, males have been under siege by a culture that too often embraces the notion that men are to blame for all of life’s ills… While women have been cast as victims, martyrs, mystics, or saints… men have been quietly retreating into their caves, the better to muffle emotions that fluctuate between hilarity … and rage. In the process of fashioning a more female-friendly world, we’ve created a culture that is hostile toward males, contemptuous of masculinity, and cynical about the delightful differences that make men irresistible… Despite my admiration for the other sex, I confess to occasional ambivalence. As I researched this book, I often thought to myself: What am I doing? I hate men!... It may be the particular dilemma of men and woman that they are doomed to suffer a love-hate relationship---and why not? It is hard to despise that has such a hold on your heart, even if you give that heart freely.” (Pg. vii-viii)

Later, she adds, “to the question of why we should undertake to save the momentous task of saving the males, I have two answers: The short one is because we love our sons. The longer one is because we love our daughters… Young men now in their twenties have never experienced a culture in which men were respected or expected to be gentlemen. Male bashing has been treated as humorous retributive justice by women who have been disappointed and hurt by men. Some of that woundedness has been passed on to our daughters, who absorbed the message that men are bad and have turned against their own male peers.” (Pg. xiii)

She notes, “The gradual eradication of men and fathers from children’s lives… has been our most dubious achievement. Thanks to divorce, unwed motherhood, and policies that unfairly penalize and marginalize fathers, 30 to 40 percent of all American children sleep in a home where their father doesn’t… single motherhood by choice is becoming increasingly popular as unmarried celebrities are applauded for accessorizing with designer babies.” (Pg. x)

She suggests, “The trivialization of fathers was not an accident, though the larger acceptance of fathers as dispensable and disposable may have been… the anti-dad message seeped into America’s unconscious gradually and insidiously. I don’t intend to blame all our ills on feminism, without which I would probably be publishing this book under the name Kevin Parker, but we can’t ignore the role feminism played in helping shape our attitudes toward hearth and home. What is feminism if not antipatriarchy? Who is father if not a patriarch?” (Pg. 39)

She points out, “One does not need to be a psychotherapist to reckon that a girl abandoned by her father will have trouble trusting men or relating to them in healthy ways as an adult. A boy without a father will have trouble learning that he belongs to the fraternity of men and, in the absence of a strong male role model, may overidentify with Mother. How does a boy learn to be a father when he has none to show him? And finally, if fatherhood doesn’t matter, how can we expect boys and young men to aspire to become responsible fathers someday? The answer is, we can’t. Daughters have been especially wounded by the men bad/daddy lousy story they’ve heard from their mothers and the wider culture… Interestingly, we seem to accept that children shouldn’t be raised without mothers, but we regard the contributions of fathers as optional seasoning…” (Pg. 43)

She admits, “life is not fair. Nor has it ever been, especially to women, who have the larger burden when it comes to childbearing… It is that extra burden---and the disproportionate share of child care that follows---behind arguments that women should be the ultimate decision maker in matters of conception. But… in the messy realm of reality, where heartbreak and despair keep company, the answers are not so clear. Real life is, alas, problematic.” (Pg. 55)

She suggests, “We know a mother and father are best, yet we seek ways to prove otherwise in order to ratify our personal preferences… to insist that there’s a ‘good’ reason to minimize the importance of fathers is plainly about agenda and not about children… most of us are lucky if we have one solid adult who loves us unconditionally. That doesn’t mean, however, that just one should be our goal. It is worrisome that we seem content to set the family bar according to the least we can do rather than the best we should aspire to. That we fail sometimes, or even often, doesn’t mean we were wrong to try or that we should accept failure as inevitable.” (Pg. 70)

She observes, “[Men] still ARE valued in combat but are otherwise viewed as obstacles to some feminists bent on military advancement. Since women can’t be more like men---bigger, stronger, fiercer, and roiling with testosterone---the radical feminist approach has been to minimize the importance of the defining characteristics of masculinity, while whittling away at the historical and cultural understanding that war is principally a man’s endeavor… What has been presented as a matter of women’s rights, meanwhile, distorts the purpose of the military. What we are sacrificing in the push to satisfy civilian goals of absolute equality is the reality of what it takes to prevail against real enemies in war and to save real lives. We have allowed ourselves to enter a pretend world where what is false is true---and we have turned a blind eye to the consequences in the name of equality.” (Pg. 158)

She acknowledges, “Surely there is a way to honor women without dishonoring men. And surely we can restore man’s dignity and purpose without submitting to patriarchal rule… We can honor the nuclear family… without condemning women to domestic hell. This task won’t be easy because we’ve managed over the past twenty years or so to create a new generation of child-men, perpetual adolescents who see no point in growing up. By indulging every appetite instead of recognizing the importance of self-control and commitment, we’ve ratified the id. Our society’s young men encounter little resistance against continuing to celebrate juvenile pursuits, losing themselves in video games, plotless movies, and mindless, ‘guy-oriented’ TV fare.” (Pg. 192)

She concludes, “it would seem that restoring the family… is critical to our survival in these untidy and dangerous times. Toward that end, respecting men and the important contributions they make to children’s lives and to society makes more sense than continuously highlighting the strays, deadbeats, dolts, pedophiles, and morons. That there are enough of these to raise concern merely underscores the need for healthy families. My guess is that the bad guys didn’t have healthy families, either.” (Pg. 195) She adds, Saving the males… will ultimately benefit women and children, too. Fewer will live in poverty; fewer boys will fail in schools and wind up in jail; fewer girls will get pregnant or suffer emotional damage from too early sex with uncaring boys. Fewer young men and women will suffer loneliness and loss because they’re grown up in a climate of sexual hostility that casts the opposite sex as either villain or victim.” (Pg. 198)

Ms. Parker perhaps minimizes the “negative” side of some men in her book (e.g., deadbeat fathers; men who abandon their wives for younger women; irresponsible “child-men” who avoid responsibility, etc.). But on the whole, this is a welcome (if more “journalistic” than “academic”) counterpoint to some of the “male-bashing” books out there. It will interest most people interested in gender issues, feminism, etc.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 7, 2013
As a guy, this book was fascinating to read. The author's logic is solid, and the writing is very clear, concise and precise. She makes her points well and doesn't confuse the issue. While I don't like the focus on fatherhood, I certainly understand where the author is coming from.

As a cultural perspective on the modern role of men, how that role has changed over the years, and how to synergize the necessary, right and natural equality between men and women without devaluing either gender, this book is fantastic.

This book also makes you think hard about your preconceived notions of gender, gender roles, and why it seems that many men end up as irresponsible and untethered and why women end up going for men who don't provide them with the emotional and spiritual support they need.

This book makes you think - period. Although there is a distinctly conservative political slant, this is the kind of book that doesn't use that as a crutch or a bludgeon - and its logic stands up, even once that bias is removed. If you're a woman trying to understand why your husband, brother or son is having trouble figuring themselves out or if you're a man confused about why you feel attacked without any real proof - then this book might explain a few things.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 26, 2008
This was a very well-written, reasoned book about why men are important. Most importantly, without men, there are no women, and vice versa. Being opposite and different is what makes us important and worthwhile. This book helps lay out the case that our pornographic and male-phobic society has helped encourage men to believe that they are not useful in our society. The policies of our government and how we treat men in our advertisements, schools, and homes tells them they are not worthwhile and that they should be feared in many cases (no men can sit next to unaccompanied minors in Australia: are men really guilty by default? On college campuses faces of random [not guilty] students are plastered around campus as "potential rapists": are men rapists simply for being men?). These and many more stunning and depressing cases are laid out to show how prevalent and pervasive these opinions are, as well as how foolish they really are and the consequences of such mysandry.
0Comment| 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Parker begins her conclusion with the sentence "This book was harder to write and I had expected for reasons that are probably apparent by now: everything in it could be restated as an argument for saving females. Given that we are inextricably bound, what is bad for one sex can't defensively be good for the other."

That sums it up. There are many things that are bad for men. The fact that little boys are taken away from their families, where the fathers are preoccupied with work and other concerns, and placed in the care of legions of women during their formative years is not good. The fact that these women are increasingly schooled in feminism is also not good. Little boys are not allowed to do traditional, instinctual little boy things: play with sticks, roughhouse, play with toy guns, play tag, or act rowdy in any particular way.

Parker writes that the predominantly female teachers tend to prefer girl students. They are more attentive in class, more likely to sit still and absorb the material than to fidget and fuss, and generally tend to get better grades. The teachers understand the girl students. The girl students generally do better by almost all measures through high school.

Parker does not go into the curious fact that men seem to excel in life to a greater extent than women. Girls may be better in school, even up through the University, but in most realms of science and business it remains men who predominate. I will offer a couple of observations. First of all, as Larry Summers said – a statement that got him fired from the presidency of Harvard University – the bell curve of distribution is flatter among men. There are more exceedingly dumb and more exceedingly smart men. Inasmuch as Harvard professors tend to be exceedingly smart, it is not surprising that there would be more men than women. A second factor, the product of intelligence research of the last couple of decades, is the observation that male and female intelligence is just about comparable up through children's late teen years. Women, however, attain maturity faster in intelligence just as they do in other ways. Researchers project that men's intelligence continues to grow, and that they wind up with a two or three point advantage in IQ by the time they are in their mid-20s. Your reviewer notes that this is preliminary research: the reader should check the results for him or herself.

Parker goes on at length about the way that men are mistreated on college campuses. Women basically have it both ways. They are absolutely free to dress in any provocative way they want, speak in any coarse manner that they want, and yet claim the protection of being the weaker sex when a man interprets these as signs of availability. The men are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

She has a long riff on pornography. Pornography treats women as commodities, and sexual gratification as a one sided affair. She cites statistics: porn rentals in hotels are watched for an average of 12 minutes. That must be the time for a man to give him self-satisfaction. There is no concern for giving a woman pleasure. Conversely, women who have affairs with too many men become blasé, jaded. The Return of Kings website calls at the "thousand cock stare." Sex loses its magic in a hurry, and without that mystical, magical element, the inducement to stay in a marriage is much diminished.

She talks about the hookup culture. Men are not inclined to turn down free sex, but on the other hand she notes that they find it less than fully satisfying. Women, bathed in the amorality of the sexual revolution, inundated with propaganda from Cosmo magazine, Sex in the City, and every other media outlet, all act and dress rather like sluts. On the other hand, if their behavior attracts attention from a man who doesn't appeal to them, they can protest affronts to their presumed chastity and the man has no adequate defense. Parker goes over a couple of cases that were then in the news: the Duke University lacrosse team, Lorena Bobbitt and others.

In the final analysis, women are not prepared to be wives and mothers. Men are on the one hand cowed by women, but on the other hand accustomed to getting sex without any particular preconditions. The patterns of behavior cultivated by both sexes are inimical to lasting relationships.

Wrapping back to her conclusion, modern American society is simply not preparing men and women to get together, form stable families and create the next generation. They are not willing to put up with each other in order to give birth to the next generation, and they are certainly not often enough willing to stay together and to raise the succeeding generation in a culture that will encourage them to produce grandchildren. In this reviewer's words, modern culture is the poison by which our society is committing suicide. Parker describes it pretty well.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 25, 2016
I am an elementary school teacher. I can see great opportunity in gender innocence. High lighting unique strengths in both genders is enriching and empowering for the children. They learn to value themselves and each other. This book has opened my eyes to a very obvious problem in society where women are wearing themselves down by taking over roles that men are better equipped to handle. If women don't learn to appreciate, encourage and commend men and their efforts instead of criticizing discouraging and condemning them, we will end up doing everything ourselves while men sit and play video games all day -is that what we really want?!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 12, 2015
This is the fourth book I've read (and, for a while at least, the last I'll read) in the "women taking over the world" genre, the other three being H. Rosin's "The End of Men", K. Hymowitz's "Manning Up", and L. Mundy's "The Richer Sex". Of the four, Parker is by far the sharpest, wittiest, and most engaging writer, and I say this as a reader who more often than not disagrees with her.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 18, 2013
A quick read with a few thought-provoking ideas, but a little short on hard data. It's value as a read is primarily to make you think of a few things that the politically correct educational system in the US today would probably like to suppress. I would've enjoyed it more if it'd had a little more data to back up its claims, but since it didn't promise to be a comprehensive tome on the subject, I can let that slide.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 27, 2016
I agree with most of her points and worry about the way our sons are perceived and treated in current American society. Would have been more effective if the message could have been more focused, a bit less rambling and with a less rant type tone.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 5, 2014
this gives amazing details on the current war against men and fathers this woman is amazing I love her for publishing this book
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 10, 2008
Kathleen Parker brings a sane view to everything she writes about, which includes not only this book but her newspaper columns as well. She is alway careful to state the good points about opposing views in balance to the eventual points she makes. She always builds the reasoning for the points she makes with thoughtfulness. And she always makes sense! That's the thing that Parker seems to be able to illustrate so well: that common sense is just missing these days in so many areas of debate and on so many subjects. Kathleen Parker lays down common sense with wit, tongue-in-cheek humor, and with eyes wide open. This book will be interesting to anyone interested in gender issues, family issues, men's and women's issues, and...common sense!
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Need customer service? Click here